Mar 17, 2009

Three ways to print digital photos

A great picture is even better when you can share it with others. And despite all the fancy things you can do with digital images, printing is still one of the top ways to share photos. You have three main options for printing: A home printer, a store kiosk (a do-it-yourself machine in a drugstore or department store), or through an online photo service.

Print at home

Printing at home is cheap and long-lasting if you use the right printer, ink, and paper. A 4×6 print will typically cost between 25 and 50 cents, depending on the printer and the ink. Of course that doesn’t include the cost of the printer or user error. Be sure to read printer reviews to get an idea of how often you’ll need to replace the ink cartridge.

Print at a store kiosk

Store kiosks are convenient, and they let you do a lot of basic editing right on the spot (cropping, adjusting brightness, removing red-eye, etc). If you shop around, you can find stores that let you create 4×6 prints for well under 50 cents each. These do-it-yourself machines are a good alternative if you’re not in the mood for the care and feeding of your own photo printer.

Online printing services

Online print services such as Webshots, Shutterfly, SnapFish, Kodak EasyShare Gallery, and many others are often the least expensive and can give great-looking prints. However, like the good old days, you’ll have to wait to see the results. But that’s fine when you’re printing a large number of images—for instance, all your vacation photos.

Do your image editing at home on your computer first, then bring a CD of your edited files to the kiosk. That way, you don’t have to sit in a store making edits while others might be waiting. You just pop in your CD and fire away!

 
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